Lurching towards the next crisis

Financial crises come quicker and quicker – and will continue to do so; this is one of the only two valid ‘economic laws’.

Do we want something different? More sustainable? Think before you answer, because the entire economic system on which our societies are built is both unsustainable and irrational. Few disciplines are as shrouded in mist and myths as economics. In fact the underlying idea – often taken for granted – that there are immutable economic ‘laws’ is a dangerous myth.

  • A myth, because after all, people invented money. WE invented money, and it obeys only the ‘laws’ we invent for it; or, rather, it follows the rules we jointly agree upon.
  • Dangerous, because it leads us to accept unquestioningly the extraordinary idea that we cannot ‘afford’ to remedy what is obviously wrong, like extreme poverty, environmental destruction, and inadequate health and education services; while we somehow, mysteriously, can ‘afford’ a life of unparalleled luxury for a small minority.

In my opinion we not only can but must de-mythify money, and re-invent it, now that it no longer serves us in its present form.

“Imagine a heating system in which the thermostat, sensing a rise in temperature, calls for more heat instead of less. Such is the nature of the debt-money system. The imposition of interest on the debt by which money is created, demands that more debt be created. [This] gives rise to a growth imperative.” – Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

A debt-fuelled money system is not a ‘law of nature’ (or even of economics). But when allowed to flourish unchallenged, it does inevitably lead to greater and greater differences between rich and poor. This is the second valid economic law under the present system – and no doubt you’ve seen the signs that this differential is widening, almost globally.

Once again: money is a human invention. It’s been re-invented countless times in history. Now it’s time for debt money to go; what comes next? What are your best stories, ideas, innovations, examples?